Dirk Pitt, Cussler's larger-than-life hero, butts heads with an army of elite killers seeking to destroy the world in another wickedly engrossing yet predictably scripted tale of bravery against all odds. As the story begins, artifacts from a previously undiscovered civilization, ancient but highly advanced, are popping up all over the globe. Pitt himself is on site in a Colorado mine when archeologists come across strange carvings and mysterious inscriptions. But then an explosion traps the party below ground, and a band of black-suited terrorists arrive at the scene with guns blazing. Though Pitt saves the day, the incident points toward a wider network of evil schemes. Working for the National Underwater & Marine Agency, Pitt finally identifies the terrorists as members of the Fourth Empire, an organization headed by the diabolical Wolf family, a secret clan of genetically engineered people who worship the Nazi Third Reich. But it's only after Pitt and his able sidekick, Al Giordino, battle old German U-boats, dodge surface-to-air missiles and narrowly escape death on a remote island off Australia that they find out what the Fourth Empire is up to. The neo-Nazis aim to prevent the world from discovering the artifacts of this previously unknown seafaring culture because they tell of a catastrophic event that wiped out civilization 9000 years ago and reveal when the next cataclysm will hit. The Wolfs plan to accelerate the date through their own scheme to destroy Earth, meanwhile sheltering themselves and their thousands of followers on enormous, disaster-proof ships. Pitt knows his assignment: save the world--a tall order, but one he's filled many times before. Cussler's 15th Pitt adventure (after Flood Tide) is a rampaging story of history, technology and heroism, written with Cussler's typical make-no-apologies enthusiasm. For muscle-flexing, flag-waving, belief-suspending fare, he has no equal. 750,000 first printing; $750,000 ad/promo; BOMC main selection; simultaneous audio; author tour. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 01/03/2000 Release date: 12/01/1999 Genre: Fiction
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